Port Meeting Today, Tuesday, at 3 p.m.

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A reminder - The crucial port meeting is this afternoon at 3 p.m. If you are reading this, then you are concerned - and we encourage you to make every effort to attend.

What will happen?

The 3 commissioners will be meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. in closed executive session. Personnel is the subject - which we all know means discussing Charlie Sheldon.

At 3 the public commissioner meeting begins. The public will be allowed to comment.

We expect the petition to rehire Sheldon will be presented. Over 800 people have endorsed this in less than two weeks. Many signatures are civic and business leaders.

We then expect a petition expanding the commission from 3 to 5 commissioners. Under state law, the 3 current commissioners can vote to place this on the ballot. The law also allows citizens to run an initiative and place it on the ballot ourselves - and this initiative has already started. The initiative will be at the meeting. But we are giving the 3 commissioners the opportunity to do the right thing.

After public comment, the commissioners will begin discussion. We hope Jim Jorgensen will reverse himself and vote with Mike McAuley to rehire Charlie Sheldon. Late word today is that Jorgensen is waffling back toward not hiring Sheldon. Again, the commission has an opportunity to do the right thing.

A large turnout of concerned citizens will help impress upon the commissioners that our community supports Sheldon. The meeting today is about bringing him back as executive director of the port. Let's show Jim Jorgensen that the community really does want this.

About John Servais

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

John started Northwest Citizen in 1995 to inform fellow citizens of serious local political issues that the Bellingham Herald was ignoring. With the help of donors from the beginning, he has [...]

Comments by Readers

Doug Starcher

Apr 17, 2012

John, I hope you post up your video of today’s meeting. Michael was heroic and scott and jim turned in SHAMEFUL performance.

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Hue Beattie

Apr 18, 2012

I would like to see it.

I had to leave to go to work so I missed some.

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Anne-Marie Faiola

Apr 18, 2012

A video of the entire process would have been interesting.

I found it fascinating to note that even at the end, Walker was orchestrating things. The last letter he read, from Art Choat who barely worked with Charlie before he retired, was anti-Sheldon. When it was pointed out that there were other letters to be read aloud, Scott Walker looked surprised but then declined to read the letters aloud. Undoubtedly, he wanted to end with one that he knew would make Charlie look bad - since presumably the other letters were pro-Charlie.

The most damning thing of the whole meeting, for me, was when Scott Walker said that Sheldon had only been looking for a short term, 18 month term, as Port Director. This was an outright lie. The public knew it was such and exploded in anger.

Sunshine laws. Auditors. One wonders if anything will come of a formal investigation but I know that I am hopeful. Public agencies should not be run this way.

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